1000s of journalists using Facebook "subscribe" feature

Since it launched in September 2011, thousands of journalists have signed on to use the Facebook "subscribe" feature, which allows users to subscribe to the news feeds of journalists and public figures without having to befriend them. And since November, the average journalist has seen a 320 percent increase in the number of subscribers, Facebook is reporting.

When analyzing journalists' posts, Facebook also found that 62 percent of their posts contain links (such as to stories the journalist wrote), 25 percent pose a question to their readers, and 30 percent contained "promotional language" (like "read my 12th interview"). Interestingly, Facebook found that posts with promotional language, or with some kind of analysis accompanying a link, prompt more referral clicks and engagement.

As TechCrunch noted, thousands of journalists -- including 50 from The New York Times and 90 from the Washington Post -- are using the Facebook subscribe button, which "poses a very real threat to Twitter. With time it could severely reduce the growth potential and unique value of Twitter by bringing its functionality and content to Facebook’s more popular network."

The Los Angeles Times talked to journalists who are skeptical and journalists who are excited about the subscribe feature. The New York Observer offers a run-down of tips from Facebook for journalists to improve their posts.